Friday, April 06, 2007
We did the manta ray dive up at the Kona airport last night. There was one manta, very little plankton. We did it down at the Sheraton site on the weekend, that particular night had a huge current that blew the snorkelers from one of the other boats way off the site... the airport site is a much better site for this dive when the mantas are in.
I've got the weekend off and then it gets busy for a while again. The goal is to get it going 7 days a week and then hire an extra staffer to work in and give Bob and I breaks. We've got someone who's been working with us occasionally who hopefully will be available when the time comes. We had a great sunny morning today and I went out for a brief shoredive. I managed to get this, which is my best humu picture so far. I generally don't make the effort to get a photo of these guys because they like to stay away about 8-10 feet or so. By the way, we had tremendous viz again today, we're epecting one more swell this weekend and then hopefully we're done with the big stuff 'til winter.
So anyway... A couple of years back the phone rings in the middle of the night and Pat answers it "Hello" then a pause, then "You've got to be kidding me. Do you realize it's barely 3 AM here? Let me put you on with Steve, he's the fish guy." Turns out the only thing the caller wanted was to know how to "say the name of that state fish". We get our share of callers who forget about time zones, but this was probably the earliest we've had.
The fish above is one of the Humu-humus (Rhinecanthus aculeatus) we have locally. Hoover's book (A great Hawaiian fish book linked on the sidebar of this page) calls it a "Lagoon Trigger", in the pet trade we called it a Picasso Trigger (which is the name he calls what we called a Rectangulate Trigger). We see them mostly in shallow water, say in the 4-12 foot depth, more than where the divers are normally found.
Back when I first moved over here I worked for a now defunct scuba/snorkel place downtown. We had some people stop by who were laughing about spending a week on the Aggressor dive liveaboard and spending all week looking for a particular fish and finding none, only to find 6 or more of them in 20 minutes snorkeling at Kahalu'u beach after the week was over. I'm pretty sure they were talking about either these or Saddleback Butterflys, as they are both common on the north end of Kahalu'u. I ought to go down there on a sunny morning to get some real good shots of both, they're fairly tame there.